What Are the 4 Main Causes of Construction Accidents?

Causes of Construction Accidents
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: February 17, 2023
  • Updated On: February 17, 2023

Construction jobs are some of the most perilous occupations around. Falls, electrocutions, being struck by objects, and being caught in or between objects are four of the leading causes of fatal construction worker accidents in New York. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that 4,764 workers died on the job in 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics went on to report that 976 of those accidents were in the construction industry.  

If you have suffered a construction accident in the Bronx or lost a loved one, Attorney Jesse Minc suggests you reach out to a Bronx construction accident lawyer for a free consultation about your injury claim. Read on for more info about the main causes of construction incidents. 

Falling Accidents

When adequate precautions are not taken to ensure the safety of construction workers, everyone at the construction site is at risk of serious injury. Construction companies must provide safe conditions for their workers. Doing so often means providing

  • Harnesses
  • Safe catwalks
  • Secure scaffolding
  • Other safety equipment

If proper equipment is not available and a fall occurs, injured workers have the right, under New York Law, to pursue damages from the construction company and other negligent parties. A diligent Bronx, NY construction accident attorney could help you recover damages today. 

Falls at construction sites can happen for several reasons, such as

  • Debris causing slips, trips, and falls
  • Defective ladders
  • Poorly constructed scaffolding
  • Scaffolding without gurdrails
  • Inclement weather
  • Open elevator shafts
  • Unmarked excavation sites and trenches
  • Unmarked or unprotected floor holes, wall openings, or ledges 

Many of the potential hazards that cause injuries in construction zones are unavoidable.  However, construction companies must provide adequate safety equipment. They also have to educate their workers on construction zone safety. If workers are not given the proper training or equipment, construction companies can be forced to pay the price for their negligence.

Struck-By Accidents

Falling, rolling, swinging, or flying objects provide a hazard to workers, pedestrians, and other individuals. Depending on the nature and size of an object, as well as the speed it is traveling when it hits someone, a struck-by accident can result in a minor bruise or a life-threatening, even fatal, accident. 

The most common instances of struck-by accidents in the Bronx include:

  • Accidents with heavy equipment or vehicles 
  • Broken high-pressure hoses and lines
  • Dropped tools
  • Falling scaffolding, pipes, or lumber 
  • Falling suspended loads
  • Flying nuts and bolts

If companies fail to take safety measures that secure the protection of their workers, they can be held liable for injuries and subsequent losses that occur. Contact a Bronx construction attorney if you’ve been hurt in a construction site accident. 

Caught-In-Between Accidents

Caught-in-between accidents involve workers being caught, crushed, or squeezed between two objects or parts of an object. These accidents can also occur when a worker is buried in a collapsing trench or building. These types of accidents can be fatal. 

Caught-in-between accidents can occur when

  • Heavy machinery is not secured or used properly
  • Machinery is not maintained or repaired
  • Scaffolds are not constructed or braced properly
  • Trenches and excavation sites are not properly supported
  • The walls are not braced properly
  • Workers are not sufficiently trained on how to use equipment and machinery safely

Caught-in-between accident injuries commonly include torn ligaments, muscle strain, and broken bones. A caught-in-between accident can even cause traumatic brain injuries, permanent damage, or even wrongful death.

Electrocution Accidents

Construction workers get exposed to live wires while performing their job duties on buildings or homes. Bronx construction workers handle electric devices in a wide range of jobs. Common electrical hazards that threaten workplace safety include

  • Electrical circuits without proper breakers or fuses
  • Electrical equipment that is not properly grounded
  • Electric tools with the plug or cord not properly grounded or insulated
  • Electrical wiring is not in the proper polarity 
  • Failure to have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
  • Poorly insulated overhead power lines
  • ​​Unapproved or overloaded extension cord wires
  • Underground power lines struck with metal equipment or tools while digging
  • Wet conditions

The severity of injuries sustained on construction sites depends on the total amount of electric current that reaches the construction worker’s body. The greater the electric current, the more dangerous and potentially lethal the risk to the worker. If you’ve suffered electrocution injuries at a worksite, speak with a seasoned construction accident attorney. 

Time Limits for Construction Accidents

There are two statutes of limitations regarding construction accidents in the state of New York. If construction workers are potentially the victim of negligence, New York’s Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) Section 214 outlines a three-year statute of limitations from the incident’s date for personal injury cases. 

When a worker is the victim of wrongful death, New York’s Estates, Powers & Trusts (EPT) Section 5-4.1 states that the personal representative of the victim’s estate has two years from the date of the incident.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.